Salem threatens to go on hunger strike

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Mumbai, Mar 22 (UNI) Extradited gangster Abu Salem, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and other cases, has threatened to go on a hunger strike alleging that the government had failed to fulfill the conditions as laid down in the agreement with Portugal for his extradition.

Presently lodged at the Arthur Road jail, the gangster has addressed several letters to the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court in this regard.

Salem has said that he was extradited from Portugal on the condition that he would be tried only in eight cases, including the 1993 blasts case in which he was accused of supplying AK-56 rifle to cine actor Sanjay Dutt.

However, his involvement in more than these eight cases was being investigated and, since the trials had not commenced, he has to languishing was in jail without being granted bail, Salem has said.

Salem has said that investigations into his involvement in the builder Pradeep Jain murder case and slapping of TADA charges on him in respect of the 1993 blasts case were in violation of the extradition agreement.

Salem's nephew Rashid Ansari, who is a lawyer by profession and is representing Salem, informed that the latter had written 25 letters in which he also threatened to go on a hunger strike.

Arthur Road Jail superintendent Swati Sathe, meanwhile, said she had heard that Salem had written such letters but the same were not handed over to the jail authorities for their dispatch.

The city police had, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court, admitted that Salem could not be tried under MCOCA as that would be a violation of the agreement with Portugal.

The Opposition in the State Assembly had boycotted proceedings in the House during the ongoing Budget Session over the affidavit and Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil had to clarify that the affidavit was based on the assurance given by the government to Portugal officials and signed by former Deputy prime minister L K Advani.

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